Black Love Goals: ‘We Travel To Nurture Our Relationship’
By Parker Diakite
It all started in graduate school for Linda and Leonard Jackson, who have been together now for 16 years and married for 12 of those years.
From the Carribean Islands, Europe, and in Linda’s home of Malawi, the couple has traveled to at least 11 countries with their son Miles.
In an interview with Travel Noire, the Jacksons discussed what they love about traveling as a family and have a small piece of advice for couples traveling with children.
Travel Noire: How many countries have you visited together?
The Jacksons: We have been to Jamaica, The United Kingdom, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Malawi, Puerto Rico & Italy together as a couple. We have traveled with our son, Miles, to Malawi, South Africa, Sweden, The United Kingdom, and France.
My native country is Malawi, so it was important to me that both Miles and Leonard got the opportunity to visit my homeland in Africa.
TN: What’s your favorite country so far and why?
The Jacksons: We love Europe and have been to London and Paris several times. My favorite place so far has been Italy. I loved the history and culture we experienced. That was our first time taking guided tours on a trip and it was well worth it to learn all about Italy’s rich history. Florence and Tuscany were incredibly enriching and the Amalfi Coast was breathtaking. The best part of that trip was sharing the experience with our good friends Otto and Danielle. Leonard has always loved Paris for its history, architecture, and fashion. Paris is also one of his favorite cities to run and he has a ritual of running to the Eiffel Tower every time we go.
TN: What’s the best part about traveling together as a family?
The Jacksons: The best part about traveling together as a family is the shared experience of seeing the world and experiencing new cultures. We endeavor to give our son the joy of learning through travel. We also want him to have an appreciation for different cultures.
TN: Tell us about one of the most challenging times you’ve experienced during your travels and how you got through it?
The Jacksons: One of the most challenging times we had, was the first couple of days in Tokyo. We got lost and found it difficult to find someone to help us that spoke English. Once we started to use the Metro system, we found it much easier to get around.
TN: What countries are next for you all?
The Jackson’s: Our ten-year-old son Miles has been asking to go to Tokyo for the last four years. We’ve been wanting to go back and are hoping to take him there next spring! We would also love to visit Australia and New Zealand in the next year or two.
Lastly, what advice would you give traveling couples and/or couples with children?
The Jacksons: Our advice for couples is to see and do as much as you can before you have children. It becomes harder to get away once you have familial obligations. Once you have children, we would advise parents to include them on experiences so they can get a broader view of the world. We still take the opportunity to get away alone as a couple so we can nurture our relationship.